A Residential Liner Building has a few jobs it needs to do well.
- Hide the parking lot from the street.
- Provide reasonable privacy for the folks who are living on the ground floor.
- Fit into the local context (not stick out).
The Hutchinson Green Apartments designed by my able partner David Kim, do a good job with all three. The ground floor is raised from the sidewalk, but the ground floor units are still accessible with zero-step entries from the rear (which is where the accessible parking is anyway). The apartments are laid out as through units, with windows on the front and the back to provide good natural light and cross ventilation. The scale of the buildings and the detailing of the exteriors fits in well with the existing townhouses, four-plexes, and detached houses.
Having good tools like the Residential Liner Building should help aspiring developers look at ugly surface parking lots in a whole new light.